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iRobot Vacuum Cleaners

The iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner shoulders some of the housework load by automatically cleaning your carpet and floors. It vacuums up debris, even in hard-to-reach spots like beneath your furniture and along baseboards. The robot navigates around obstacles such as toys and chair legs.

How large of an area can the Roomba cover?

Depending on the model you are using, your robot cleaner can run a total of 60 to 120 minutes on a single charge. Roomba models that do not have the VSLM feature move in a random pattern. Therefore, they cover a compact area on a single charge. According to the company's test lab, a unit with VSLM can clean up to 2,000 square feet on a 120-minute charge.

What features does the Wi-Fi-enabled iRobot have?

You can control most of the Roomba robotic vacuum models remotely with a Wi-Fi connection and your smartphone. The functions the app enables include:

  • Set a routine schedule
  • Start or stop the unit
  • Cancel a scheduled activation
  • Monitor/review cleaning cycles
  • Install updates automatically

What size is the Roomba's debris cache?

The dirt compartment in this cleaner can typically store more than one session's worth of dust, pet hair, and other detritus. It opens like a drawer, which users say makes emptying quick and easy. The dimensions are approximately:

  • Six inches wide
  • Three inches deep
  • One and one-half inches tall

How does the iRobot mapping function work?

Some of the robot vacuum models rely on built-in camera and computer image processing to map your rooms, enabling systematic and more efficient vacuuming.

  • Using snapshots, the robot device gradually creates a map of the room it is cleaning.
  • It combines this data with information from its infrared and object sensors to inform its movements.
  • Flagship models store the mapping data for future reference.

How does the Roomba work?

The iRobot Roomba is equipped with a laser sensor that directs it around obstacles and walls. It also has sensors on the underside of the device that detect changes in elevation, allowing it to transition from bare floor to carpet. It has beater brushes like a conventional vacuum cleaner to loosen and collect dirt, as well as suction that sweeps the dirt into a storage compartment. Top robot models have a proprietary VSLM feature -- Vision Simultaneous Localization and Mapping -- that takes snapshots as the Roomba works to guide the unit in an efficient path throughout the room. When the iRobot is finished, it stores itself in a recharging station.

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